Four Former Memorial Healthcare System Vendors Sentenced in Bribery Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announce today’s sentencing of four defendants in connection with a bribery scheme at Memorial Heatlhcare system. At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced defendants Thomas Kennedy, Thomas Pacchioli, Richard Cohen and Paul Chaiet.
Defendant Thomas Kennedy, who was convicted of three counts, was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Thomas Pacchioli, who was also convicted of three counts, was sentenced to three years’ probation with a special condition of 180 days home confinement. Defendant Cohen was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Defendant Chaiet was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release. In addition, the defendants were ordered to pay restitution.
According to court documents and trial testimony, co-defendant Adil Osman accepted money and in-kind payments, including home improvements, in exchange for selecting certain vendors to perform work at Memorial Hospital West. A nearly identical kickback scheme existed with Elliot Gordon and Anthony Merola, former Team Leaders at Memorial Regional Hospital. Many of the vendors did work, and paid kickbacks, at both facilities. The vendor/defendants would substantially inflate their invoices to both Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Regional Hospital to facilitate the payment of kickbacks to Osman and former Memorial Regional Team Leaders. At Memorial Regional Hospital, vendor/defendants, with the assistance of Chaiet, would conceal the kickback payments through entities such as Whitehead Industries, RSM&F Enterprises, Inc. and Dorece Consulting. The nine vendors, convicted in total, collectively received over $15 million in contracts from the Memorial Healthcare System during the execution of the conspiracy.
The four hospital vendor defendants sentenced today were all convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery of an agent of an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 666 and 371. Hospital vendors Kennedy, Pacchioli and Cohen were also convicted of individual counts of bribery of an agent of an organization receiving federal funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 666.
Defendant Cohen pled guilty to engaging in a scheme to defraud Memorial Hospital West by rigging the bidding process on contracts valued at more than $10,000. Defendant Kennedy was convicted of engaging in a similar scheme to defraud Memorial Regional Hospital by rigging the bidding process with Gordon, a former Team Leader in the Facilities Management Department, on contracts valued t more than $10,000.
Defendants Elliot Gordon and Anthony Merola were sentenced previously and are serving their prison terms. Defendants Robert Andrei and Adil Osman are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Marra on June 1, 2012.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CID. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the management and security personnel at the Memorial Healthcare System for their assistance and cooperation in this investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Neil Karadbil and Strider Dickson.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.